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Should I move my gifted child one grade up?


user3966246 July 22, 2014

My child is 9 and just finished 3rd grade. I am considering changing schools from public to private, in addition skipping a grade, from 3rd into 5th grade. The new school had requested him to complete a 5th grade entrance exam which I know he will complete successfully with no problem. 5th grade in the new private school has no gifted program. He is at a gifted program in a public school now, his IQ is 151 and he is a straight A student, Principal Honor Roll every semester. Nothing is going wrong at his actual school now, however all his classmates are very immature and he could be a little bit more challenged. I would like to know what do you think.

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MagnetMom July 23, 2014

Hello, and welcome to the GreatSchools Parent Community.

I would be very concerned about moving him from a gifted program to a regular program. While moving him up a grade will help challenge him initially, what additional resources will be in place to keep him challenged?

Sometimes kids can be immature--highly gifted kids as well. That's especially true in lower grades. It does get better. Can they perhaps move him up at his current school? He's not merely gifted, he's highly gifted. Moving him up might challenge him and give him a new peer group.

Talk to both schools again about how they will accommodate him now and moving forward.

Good luck, and let us know what happens.


TeacherParent July 23, 2014

Are there other children in the private school who have skipped grades? When you visit the 5th grade at the private school do you find those children to have the maturity you're seeking? I'd say - just because it's 5th grade doesn't automatically mean the children will demonstrate the maturity you'd like them to have.

I'd say too - there's no guarantee that your very talented son will find 5th grade curriculum any more challenging. Gifted children benefit from a different kind of instruction - even a different kind of curriculum.

The best way to look at a private school and what it might offer is to spend some time there - do more than the tour they offer you. Spend an afternoon in the classroom that he would be in.

But sometimes we don't have the opportunity to take as long a look as we'd like. I admit I like private schools - they tend to be smaller and they're able to have a more consistent approach to education. Private schools can put pressure on their faculty to conform, to teach as the school wants them to teach, to adopt a certain practice or philosophy of teaching.

But that said, the cost of private schools has become so prohibitive that it's not uncommon for families to reconsider their decision to enroll their children in private school. Do you know families at this school? Gather as much information as you can.

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